The market for equipment repair is one of the most vulnerable from the point of view of fraud. Pseudo-masters, not ashamed, sell “air”, install “fake” antivirus software, and sometimes steal component parts. All this they are taught by seasoned mentors. According to what scheme the deceivers act and how to protect themselves from imposed services – in the material of “Izvestia”.
Repair at a super price
Almost 30 thousand rubles gave away a teacher of a Nizhny Novgorod university for the services of a computer foreman who repaired her laptop at a price that is three times the real price… The master sat at the computer for four hours, thoughtfully fixing the breakdown, and then handed out a shocking check. In the list of works: assembly-disassembly, cleaning and setting up software and drivers. For the last service, the “specialist” took 13 thousand rubles.
Only a few days later, the woman realized that the repair was a fraudulent scheme. The teacher turned to the police, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not find corpus delicti. The victim plans to contact the prosecutor’s office.
Similar incidents occur everywhere: grandmother from Togliatti cheated for 17 thousand, a resident of Novosibirsk – by 18 thousand. Communities have even appeared from social networks, whose members are united by a common misfortune – they all turned out to be victims of “repairs” at inflated prices.
Cybersecurity expert Sergey Vakulin generally highlights three types of specialists who are engaged in the repair of equipment:
– The first type is burglars, the second and third are individual entrepreneurs and organizations. Most often, people are faced with fraud just from the side of burglars.… They like to offer their services on the Avito-type ad sites, to post advertisements in the entrances, and also to throw out flyers.
As a rule, in such ads, the master promises discounts, a cheap price (but no specifics), and also indicates that he lives nearby… Users with sophisticated experience and familiar with the methods of swindlers are wary of such advertising – some are not even too lazy to fight with intrusive posting.
“From December 25 to January 1 in my area, not a single industry was able to spread advertising, I kept everything under control and monitored the area every two hours, then I celebrated the New Year – and monitor it again. From the 22nd floor you can see through binoculars when advertising begins to spread. Before the guys had time to smash it, I was already tearing everything up, the glue was not dry yet ”, – writes user in the thematic group “VKontakte”.
What is the scheme of deceivers
If the victim nevertheless fell for the advertisement, first a telephone conversation with the “master” awaits her. The specialist listens carefully to the client and at the same time evaluates how professionally the client explains the problem. If the client does not understand the computer device, the chances of cheating him are greater.
When the “master” comes to the challenge, manipulations begin. Usually, the burglar immediately proceeds to the repair without asking the client’s permission. The main strategy of the scammer is to convince the user that there is little time left for the laptop, of course, if the necessary settings are not made. He avoids talking about the price: “If you look, it’s free.”
Photo: Izvestia / Dmitry Korotaev
“It happens that the solution to a problem lies on the surface,” says Vakulin. – For example, the power supply cable was disconnected. The wizard fixes this problem, but later finds various other “problems”: “But, you know, you have little RAM, let’s add it. You still have viruses here, you need to clean it up. ” If the client is not professional in matters of technology, he is unlikely to understand what services were imposed on him. For example, in words, the master applied thermal paste, but in fact the client does not even know that for this procedure it is necessary to open the case of the system unit.
The interlocutor of Izvestia adds: burglars love not only to cheat clients for money, but also to steal computer parts:
– Let’s say there are two slots, each of which stores 2 GB of RAM. A pseudo-master can steal memory from one slot, which costs over 1000 rubles.
A completely unpleasant scenario when parts disappear under the pretext of inspection and repair. About one of the firms seen in such a plunder, tells user Evgeny Zinoviev:
– LLC “Omega” took the system unit for repair, since then silence, on the phone only promises that the master will call you back. We have an agreement on the acceptance of technology. The address of the firm is the city of Balashikha, but the branch is Khimki. In fact, the office address is unknown. The situation is complete game, as they say, a robbery in broad daylight.
Photo: Izvestia / Dmitry Korotaev
How pseudo-masters are trained
Burglars, oh which Sergey Vakulin speaks, often work for large organizations. The most media outlet in this industry is the Federal Service for Service (FSS). She has flashed more than once in journalistic investigations and was denounced by the employees themselves. The problem is that the FSS regularly changes the signs. OOO “Expert” and OOO “PKP” from St. Petersburg, as well as OOO “Expert” and OOO “PKP” from Chelyabinsk operated under its brand. Another name for them is Aitihaus.
To combat scammers on VKontakte appeared an antagonist group called “Stop-Expert”. For several years, it has gathered a whole ontology of the existence of the FSS and its “daughters”. The group administrator receives information about the company from former employees, who are leaking internal documents.
Thanks to such details, it became known that the employees of the company pass psychological trainings in which future masters are taught competent extortion. For example, if during the repair the conversation about the price comes, mentors advise to split it into several parts (for each service separately), and not to name the whole amount. They will also tell you how to sell “air”: removing viruses one by one, setting up autorun, enabling child mode in the browser, copying and saving data. Also, employees will be taught to give a compliment and present themselves correctly at the right time. The conversation with the client ends with assurances that the price indicated in the check is still “brotherly” and “divinely”.
Employees in such firms are sought in the usual way – through popular recruiting platforms. One of the Stop-Expert subscribers decided in detail tell, how he got a job as a foreman in the company “Omega”, which, presumably, is the new structure of the FSS.
Фото: Global Look Press/Nikolay Gyngazov
In January last year, a young man was looking for a job suitable vacancy he found on the internet. The office interview, which hardly looked like a service center, did not shed light on the specifics of his responsibilities. A mentor named Denis, who was assigned to the young man, told about the real state of affairs.
“On the very first order, we came to a woman who only needed to clean her laptop from dust. And in the end, after all the manipulations, she paid 7 thousand. No way. Just for air. We sat there for two hours. And all this time Denis pretended to be working. I asked him how he got here. [Он] said that he was purposefully looking for it. I saw videos on the internet and read about how much [здесь] earn. He said that in the first month he received 170 thousand rubles. I didn’t go to the rest of the trips, ”the subscriber concluded.
How to protect yourself from scammers
Regularly referring to the price list will help to protect yourself in a similar situation, considers Sergey Vakulin.
– On a good level, any specialist should initially make a diagnosis, which costs no more than 500 rubles. We add the same amount for a home visit – and now the master already has 1000 rubles. After the diagnosis, the specialist announces the ways to solve the problem and names the price tag. If, when repairing, the master refers to components related to “hardware”, for example, a hard drive, RAM, video card, motherboard, then it is better to immediately check their price tags on the Internet. This is the safest scheme for carrying out a computer repair, the specialist emphasized.
According to the lawyer Evgeniya Kvartalnova, any appeal to the master is also a deal – a kind of contract. The rules for the conclusion and execution of this agreement are governed by civil law, in particular by the law “On Protection of Consumer Rights”. According to the 16th article of the law, the seller is not entitled to perform additional work or provide services for a fee without the consent of the consumer. Accordingly, the consumer has the right to refuse to pay for such services, and if they are paid for, he has the right to demand from the seller a refund of the amount paid.
Фото: Depositphotos / photographee.eu
– After that, it will not be superfluous to conclude a written contract, where the work, deadlines and fees will be spelled out. Everything that will be done above this list can be considered an imposed service, ”said Kvartalnova.
Lawyer and the founder of the vvCube consulting group Vadim Tkachenko also advises to draw up a contract. It must contain the terms of reference and specification: what should be purchased and what will be replaced, the cost of an hour of work of a specialist and the cost of replaced parts.
If the client has bought into the deception, it will be difficult to enlist the support of the police. Usually, law enforcement agencies tend to refuse to initiate criminal cases., says Olga Turunina, a member of the Russian Bar Association. The motive for refusal is that the dispute between the parties is of a civil nature.
– Law enforcement officers do not resolve such disputes, this is the competence of the courts. In this regard, there is no reason to hope for substantial help from law enforcement officers, – the lawyer summed up.